I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Spirit in the Crypt really caught me by surprise (as I’m sure it caught our protagonist by surprise too). This is a debut work by author Alexander Loud and after reading it, I think that he’s going to be a name to look out for.
This is the kind of book that would have totally consumed me as a kid. Jonny Roberts is endearing and engaging from the beginning. His situation at home is tough, like it is for so many kids at fifteen and I really felt for him. He definitely has a rebellious streak in him too though– he stays out late, he drinks with his buddies, he gets into fights at school. Deep down he just wants what every kid wants at that age, and that’s to find acceptance among his peers. All of this makes Jonny a well-rounded and relatable character that I had a blast following. He reminded me a lot of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson.
After Jonny gets locked in a crypt by his “friends” that turn out to not be so top notch after all, he finds himself wrapped up in a supernatural mystery that has some dire consequences. I loved that we get to see the effects the spirit has on Jonny’s whole community. So many stories involve a main character who gets sucked into their own plot that seems to be totally separate from the setting they began in.
Lound’s writing style is fun and immersive. I totally forgot I was reading a story because I was so invested in Jonny’s point of view. I found myself reluctant to put it down. The pacing is great and there’s no point where the story drags on.
I took a few points off because I would’ve liked to see Jonny’s character developed a little bit more by the end but considering this is a series, I’m assuming that this will occur throughout later installments. There is just one relationship in the story that I think deserved some more attention in this first book.
Other than those little nitpicks, I had a great time with this novel and I look forward to the sequel! I would highly recommend checking this book out if you enjoy supernatural mysteries for young adult or middle grade readers!
Thank you to Alexander Lound for the opportunity to review this book!